Submitted by members of the Lifebook Team
Habits have the power of shape our lives, for better or worse.
If we wish to live a truly extraordinary life, we must pay especially close attention to the habits, rituals and behaviors that add up to who we are and how we live.
Below, Lifebook Team members share one personal habit they’ve successfully implemented that has transformed their lifestyle.
Enjoy reading through these inspiring success stories, and feel free to comment at the bottom of the post to let us know how you feel, and share a habit you’ve successfully implemented in your life!
A Morning Ritual
By: Brian Johnson, Lifebook CEO
Just by implementing this simple new habit, I’ve been able to create results at a higher level than ever before, and make a major change in how my days turn out.
In the past I used to wake up, and the first thing I did was have a coffee, check emails, and get to work. I found this to be a bad idea, because I was allowing the rest of the world to dictate what my day was going to be like.
Now I wake up and spend an hour of quiet time thinking about the day and everything I will do to make it an outstanding one. How I will act? What conversations will I have? What will I take action on? Then I read my daily affirmation.
This ritual sets the stage for a great day and keeps me in the right frame of mind, and the feeling that I can handle anything at a very high level. Enjoy!
My Daily Affirmation
Today is a wonderful day.
I choose to have loving thoughts.
If my mind starts to chatter of negative things I will stop – and replace those thoughts with positive thoughts.
I will focus on all the little things in my life that mean so much and feel loving gratitude for them.
I will think of all the wonderful people in my life and how much I love them and I will feel the love.
I am cool, calm and collected – I can handle anything today will bring.
I am healthy, happy and live in wisdom.
I can change my life.
Today I will take one step toward my Life Vision.
My presence makes a difference in the world.
I joyously take on the challenge of exploring my passions and pursuing my goals so that the world can benefit from my existence.
The 50/50 Rule
By: Phillip Mitchell, Assistant Director of Customer Experience
This may seem like a very simple habit that I have formed as a result of the habit setting guides and goals we have developed here at Lifebook, but for me it has been transformational in pushing my intellectual life forward in a big way.
I am an avid sports fan and fan of television and films in general, which can translate into hours in front of the television every week. In an effort to equally distribute my time between my appreciation for the entertainment and enjoyment that television brings me, and the need to continue expanding my intellectual life on my journey to remain a lifelong learner, I have implemented a 50/50 rule for myself which means for every minute or hour of television I watch, I will spend an equal amount of time reading or listening to audio books.
Sometimes I consider my television watching to be a mindless way to relax and unwind, but I have come to the conclusion that I gain quite a bit from this activity, so I didn’t want to cut it out completely. Since I am already a very avid exerciser and work out regularly every week, I considered other options for holding myself accountable about my reading and personal growth.
For me it is more about beginning the journey, once I find myself diving into a new book, article, or audio program I am engulfed in the power of it. So this was a great way that I could enjoy both in nearly equal amounts providing fulfillment across multiple categories of my life. So far in this New Year alone I have already read three new books and I am currently in the process of reading my 4th! I am already ahead of my goal of completing 1 book per month, thanks to this habit!
One Simple Statement
By: Katrina Lawton, Lifebook Concierge
My Character is something I cherish and am truly proud of. It is connected to EVERY category of my life. Since creating my Lifebook I have become more aware of my Character, and I now understand that my life experiences and relationships are built with quality, as a result of my Character.
How I act in certain situations, and how I treat people, will create great experiences and amazing relationships, not only in my personal life but my social life, business life, etc…
There is one character trait in particular that has transformed my Character, opened my eyes, and led me to a more positive life. This trait has become a STAPLE in my daily thoughts and actions.
The trait is Gratitude. Gratitude to me is simply being thankful for the people and experiences around me.
I am now in the habit of thinking and saying things that I am grateful for.
My thought process around this is pretty simple. When something feels great and makes me happy, I make sure to stop and reflect upon it by saying, “Wow I am so grateful for… such beauty, such amazing friends, my family, my co-workers, eating amazing food, having quality conversations… etc.” It is so important to tell the people around you that you are grateful for them, and why.
Gratefulness makes me a better person, which becomes contagious to others. I could follow myself for a day and say I was proud!
Reciting a simple statement during a moment of gratitude creates an incredible energy that keeps me moving forward, experiencing MORE gratitude, deepening my relationships, and creating memories that last a lifetime.
My Morning ‘Gifts’
By: Sandra Garest, Director of Customer Experience
I’ve come to learn through my own personal experience (and from some wonderful teachers) that one of the most important parts of the day is when I first wake up in the morning.
After considering my morning routine and how it was making me feel, I realized that I was starting my day with habits that were dragging me down. I was turning on the morning news, checking email on my phone before even getting out of bed, and then diving immediately into action instead of starting the day with grace.
I identified morning ‘gifts’ that I could give to myself to set my day up for success and bliss. Then I practiced these as habits for 2 whole months, and have continued to expand on them.
The following are some of the things that I’ve incorporated in my morning makeover:
* Gratitude and prayer, saying “thank you” as I first open my eyes
* Bringing more conscious to my very first thoughts, making an effort to be sure these first thoughts are pleasant, positive, healing ones
* Envisioning my perfect day and how it will unfold
* Deep breathing exercises
* Foundational Movement Practices from the Balancing Center
* “Start Your Day Right” Meditation App.
The very first moments of the morning set the tone for the entire day. Everything from my first thoughts to how I nourish my body, mind and spirit greatly influence my success. Applying these simple practices to my life has helped me drastically improve my overall happiness and energy.
A Time Commitment
By: Peter Scott, Lifestyle Consultant
Jon’s Principle of Goal/Habit Interconnectivity from week 6 of the Bootcamp has had a significant impact on my life. Two years ago, I inherited a real estate property with literally zero real estate experience. Over night I became an absentee landlord managing a three-family home in Connecticut.
After 6 months, I learned that real estate is not always “passive income.” I went through every problem you could ever experience related to owning property and made the decision that I had to sell the property because I was losing money.
Now this “goal” seemed extremely overwhelming to me. I had no idea where to start, or how I could break such an enormous goal down into manageable steps.
Then, Jon released the VIP Bootcamp. My epiphany happened in week 6 when Jon mentioned that goals are the keys to creating great habits and habits are the key to accomplishing my goals. So I thought to myself, if my goal is to sell a piece of real estate, what habit could I associate with that goal? I realized that what I could do to sell a piece of real estate is make a list of everything I could possibly do to move the project forward, and then commit to a scheduled time frame.
So I created a habit to spend the hours between 2pm and 4pm EVERY Saturday afternoon on my real estate list: updating the marketing materials, hiring a new realtor, replacing a furnace, etc.
I’m happy to say that last Friday, the sale of my property went through and I accomplished my enormous goal! I couldn’t have done this without committing to a habit of working on all the tasks that needed to be completed, and then taking massive action.
I can now say that I accomplished my overriding goal for the entire year because of Jon’s Principle of Goal/Habit Interconnectivity. This is a principle, and a practice, that I will continue to carry into many other areas of my life (and goals) in order to achieve my Life Vision.
One Interaction At A Time
By: Benjamin Lawrence, Director of Finance and Operations
I was fortunate enough to spend some extended time with my grandfather during an 18-month travel sabbatical that I took a few years ago. After I went back to work, I lost touch with my Grandfather and our daily face-to-face conversations turned into monthly phone call snippets. My Grandfather was not the only one who I lost touch with, as my friends and family members would constantly ask where I’ve been since returning from sabbatical. If anyone has ever spent 18 months in relative seclusion from working and socializing, they know it is a serious adjustment to get re-acclimated with the “real world” and to be able to function in a balanced and optimally positive mode.
It seemed as though the emotional drain that one experiences in a demanding professional role was leading to me not having the “emotional energy” to simply call a loved one on a daily basis.
After a few months of continuing to spend my mental energy in a lop-sided fashion where my Intellectual, Career, and Financial life took priority over family and social life, it was clear that I needed to recommit myself to regular visits with my loved ones. After all, family and close friends are the cornerstones of my life, and each and every one of them means the world to me.
With that being said, I decided to make it a habit to speak or visit with a loved one daily. Since making this declaration, I have achieved an incredible, sustainable life balance. I have spoken with my Grandfather at least twice weekly. I have made it a point to be fully present in the lives of my nephews, and hang out with them at least once a week. I take one weekend out of each month to go ride horses with my Father. I even began reconnecting with old friends who I thought I’d grown apart from.
The tangible results of turning this into a habit are clear:
* My Mother constantly tells me how much it means to my Grandfather that we talk all of the time
* My Nephews regularly call me to ask “what are we doing for this week’s Uncle B day?!” They even write about our hangout sessions in their homework assignments, meaning I’m really making an impact on their young and impressionable minds!
* My Father told me just the other day that he hadn’t had this much fun hanging out with me since the olden days when he dedicated a decade of his life to taking me to all of my sporting events and coaching me in youth football
* My closest friends have thoroughly enjoyed seeing me back on the social grid and I realize every day how lucky I am to have friendships that stand the test of time
If such a simple habit can make the twilight of my Grandfathers life that much more enjoyable for him, then who am I to not make that commitment? Since turning this goal into a habit, I have rediscovered why I feel so passionate about bringing joy, hope and optimism to my loved ones’ lives on a daily basis … one interaction at a time.
15 Minutes Of Freedom
By: Jessica Butcher, Director of Membership and Communications
During the January VIP Challenge, ’31 Days To Create A Habit’ I committed to doing yoga during the first and last 15 minutes of my day (upon waking, and before going to sleep).
Since declaring the habit, I’ve expanded on my routine, and created what I think of as ‘15 minutes of freedom’ in my mornings and my evenings. What started as a simple stretching practice has transformed into an incredibly powerful habit in my life, positively affecting my health and fitness, my emotional life and my spiritual life.
I’d like to share it with you…
My 15 Minutes Of Freedom (practiced twice a day)
I recently flipped through a book at a friend’s house on Ayurvedic home remedies (click here if you’re interested), and stumbled upon a fantastic recommended ritual. In the book, they gave some unusual but intriguing recommendations that I’ve borrowed and adapted, and have since transformed my waking and sleeping rituals.
First, I acknowledge my waking and awareness before opening my eyes (or if it’s the evening, I’ll close my eyes and bring awareness to my body), noticing what I feel like from head to toe, inside and out.
When I open my eyes, I raise my hands over my face and observe them. I know this sounds strange (I thought so when I first read about it), but hands are known to be incredible sources of energy, and for me, bringing my awareness to them reminds me that I am here, I am whole, and I am powerful.
After putting energy into my hands, I lay them over my face, and feel my skin. I rub my ears, throat, and chest, and rest my palms on my stomach. This stimulates my skin, and helps me awaken my cells and connect with my body.
Then, I begin breathing deeply into my stomach with long, deep inhales and slow, steady exhales. With my hands still on my stomach, I try to raise them as high as I can, carrying my breath as low as possible into my abdomen. I feel the oxygen flowing through me and I feel alert and energized.
After a minute or so of deep breathing, I begin stretching my body while still laying down (legs, arms, twists, etc.), while continuing the deep breathing.
If it’s the morning, I’ll transition to sitting up or standing up, and continue the stretching exercises.
If it’s the evening, after I’m done stretching, I will lay on my back (while continuing with the deep breathing) and bring my intention to relaxing every muscle in my body, starting with my toes and working my way up to my neck, head and face (this part alone has drastically improved my sleep by helping me release all tension and increase my body’s circulation).
By the time I’m finished I feel incredibly centered, balanced and alive… a positive and healing sensation I’ve become totally addicted to!